Winter Maintenance for Your Commercial Chiller
When the frigid Chicagoland winter sets in, your commercial chillers can freeze and break down. This breakdown can hurt your HVAC system immediately and into the warmer months if it isn’t dealt with. Let’s look at why you should maintain your chillers and other HVAC in winter and how you can do that effectively.
If your facility depends on a commercial chiller, you know how much just the additional electricity usage can cost. This can discourage business owners from spending additional money to maintain their chiller units, especially during winter. However, the costs of preventative maintenance are often much less than the costs of decreased efficiency and critical failure in the long run. Ultimately, you’ll have lower and fewer chiller services costs if you have it maintained routinely instead of waiting until it breaks down to have it serviced.
With the cold winter months soon arriving in Chicago, this a great time of year to start performing preventative maintenance on your commercial chillers. Here are six tips to get you started on planning a winter maintenance schedule to keep your chiller running efficiently while preventing critical failure:
Chiller tubes easily collect contaminants like minerals, scale, and algae, which can reduce operational efficiency by up to 30%. During downtime, you can use rotary tube cleaners, descalers, and brushes to remove these deposits and return your chiller to peak performance levels.
After you’ve thoroughly cleaned chiller tubes, use additional downtime to identify any refrigerant leaks in your system. Leaks result in a less efficient system and can release harmful refrigerant into the air. Small cracks will inevitably form over time. However, it’s much easier to remedy these cracks when they’re small than to wait to remedy a critical failure caused by larger cracks. By identifying and repairing these smaller cracks, you’re improving chiller efficiency while saving money and time in the long run.
The overall efficiency of your chiller is directly linked to cooling tower performance. Cooling towers easily grow algae and collect scale deposits. Frequently cleaning and maintaining your cooling towers reduces the chance of breakdown while optimizing operational efficiency.
Wintertime offers a great opportunity to make sure your chiller refrigerant levels are within the manufacturer’s recommended levels. At the same time, you should check oil levels and refill as needed.
Checking water can be a little more complicated. It’s wise to have a water sample tested for impurities and pH levels. When these levels are off, impurities build up more easily, decreasing thermal resistance and reducing system efficiency.
Use system downtime to inspect and replace critical components like gaskets, strainers, and filters based on the manufacturer’s recommended lifetimes. We also advise checking the operation of all starters and motors and repairing or replacing as needed.
What’s the point of performing preventative maintenance if you can’t remember what’s been done and what hasn’t? Keeping a written log of all maintenance and service performed on your chiller makes it easier to plan ahead while guaranteeing that your chiller is operating at peak performance levels. Plus, if you have any questions for us, we’ll be able to take a look at your records and get caught up in a matter of minutes instead of days.
By following these six steps, you can guarantee that your commercial chiller will be running at peak performance when the warmer months return. If you have any questions about chiller maintenance or need help with any steps of the process, contact us today.
Maintaining your chiller in the winter prevents chiller failure both immediately and in warmer months. If you maintain your chiller when it’s vulnerable to break downs, you can protect it from failure and ensure that it operates properly when the weather warms up. After all, your chiller system is often part of your outdoor unit, so it’s exposed to extreme weather. Taking care of it when its most vulnerable will help you avoid disasters in the immediate and distant futures.
You should choose Air Comfort if you want to keep your HVAC maintenance costs and operating costs affordable and manageable. We do everything we can to make your HVAC system as energy efficient as we can so it produces good, healthy indoor air for your facility. We also offer a wide range of other HVAC services, such as sheet metal fabrication and condensing boiler solutions, among many others. We offer all these services so we can handle any HVAC problems you have, no matter where or when they occur.
If you want chiller freeze protection in the middle of a Chicagoland winter, reach out to Air Comfort today. We have the knowledge and experience to keep your cooling and heating system working properly throughout the year, no matter what the weather is like. You can trust us to take care of your commercial HVAC system and ensure that it produces the right amount of air for your facility. Let us help your HVAC system and its chillers and other components last through the tough Chicagoland winter.
Find out how our solutions can improve your HVAC system and the quality of air it produces.
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